The common sense model of illness is a promising conceptual framework that can promote our understanding of the predictors of schizophrenia-related public stigma. Because stigma is a multidimensional phenomenon, studies on schizophrenia-related stigma need to account for the origins of the various aspects of this phenomenon. This study explored which common sense model of illness components (cognitive and emotional) predicted three distinct indicators of stigma (stereotypes and discrimination on the individual and structural levels). A nonprobability sample of 149 students from one of the largest universities in Israel was drawn. Data were collected via a self-reported questionnaire. We found that five of the nine common sense model of illness variables predicted schizophrenia stereotypes, whereas very few predicted discrimination. Additionally, we found that greater belief in the effectiveness of schizophrenia treatment was associated with lower stereotypes and social-level discrimination. The less the perceived consequences of schizophrenia (the extent to which the illness is perceived to affect one’s life), the lower the stereotypes and discrimination (individual and social). The perceived cause of schizophrenia and attribution of personal control over the illness did not predict any stigma dimension. The findings suggest that the common sense model of illness is more suitable for predicting stereotypes than discrimination. More research is needed to understand the unique drivers of different dimensions of stigma. The findings also imply the need to design separate programs to address different aspects of schizophrenia-related stigma.
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